Nick Fury and the Agents of Roundup!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 02/01/2015!!)

Roundup

 

Ooooooooooooohhhhh, it’s good to be back! With the Critters* now behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to 2015!! There’s already been a ton of releases announced–Justice League: Trinity War, Avengers Assemble, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Age of Ultron and now Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.–and that just takes us to July!! There’s also been a slew of Previews that just hit the street, including the entire 2015 Convention Exclusive line!

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Well get to all that in…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is new every week; this past week brought us Episode 81, wherein the guys discuss the recent Con-Exclusives announcement for 2015, among other things!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The latest episodes are Eps 30 & 31! In Episode 30, the Roundtable is back with analysis on the Tulsa and British Columbia ROC’s, as well as their takes on the recent Watchlist rulings and changes. Haven’t listened to 31 yet, so I don’t have a synopsis for you…

"We're a Thing again!"

–Well, just as quickly as they came back, ClixCast seems to have gone away! They have yet to release an episode since their September offering, so I’m removing them from the Podcast rundown until we get some sort of activity from the guys!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–A slight rules clarification has dropped that essentially mirrors standard protocol for WizKids-sponsored tournaments. It basically means that sets aren’t legal for ROC events until they’ve been out for a week or more. You can read the full announcement right here.

 

Preview

 

Justice League Heroclix Trinity War

–Justice League: Trinity War just keeps getting spoiled left and right!

As of today, 50 different figures (including the Gravity Feed) have been spoiled, plus two members of the CSA Fast Forces Pack (By the way, both of the spoiled Fast Force-ers are pretty damn good, so I’d order early if you want to get these guys. Fast Forces usually sell out pretty quick. Atomica alone will provide a 19 Defense character with the CSA Team Ability for just 25 Points!!).

The Super Rares seem extremely effective so far. Highlights include John Constantine, his Prime version (Nick Necro) and Despero (Oooooo, he’s gonna be fun to play).

Also, the 7 Deadly Sin 3D Objects seem almost as good as Hammers. Plus, you don’t actually need a Resource to play them IF you’re running the objects Chase piece (this will all make more sense once the set releases, trust me).

Check out the HCRealms.com Units page to look over all the spoiled dials.

 

nick_fury_agent_of_shield_booster

–We have a new set announcement! Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be out in July, and it’ll bring with it a Fast Forces that features the TV versions of Agent Coulson, Skye, Fitzsimmons and Agent May!! The proper set will also feature random inserts like more Avengers Roundtable ID cards and the first ever Assembl-A-Fig (or somesuch spelling) wherein you combine different 3D objects to make Iron Man’s Hulkbuster Mk. 2 Armor!

You can read ICv2’s article about the release right here!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–No Army of the Week, Local Games or Hollywood News this week–look for those sections to return next time. Especially Army of the Week, where we’ll look at how the new JL:TW Chases work with Resources and Entities (Hint: Very well.).

–Ninwashui built another Build column, and of course we gave out some Critters* in our second annual “Simply the Best” Awards article!

–We’ll be back later this week with a look from Ninwashui at some of the Justice League: Trinity War Gravity Feed figures, as well as in in-depth look at comic books on TV.

 

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch where you draw you Lines of Fire!!

 

All Work and No Play Makes Shuma a Dull… Uh, Horror-Creature. Thing!! (Or, The Build 2/11/15–1000 Point Rampage)

So on 2/11 Comics’n More is having a 1000 Colossal Rampage. I have a family thing that I need to attend and can’t make it. However, I didn’t realize that until I had already designed 3 teams (eh, it happens). So here is what I would have been playing…

The Format: 1000 point Rampage! Oreo Age. (Which includes Superman and any sets which came out later – except for Star trek and Yu! Gi! Oh! Because having Iron Fist knock out the Enterprise is too weird and because Yu! Gi! Oh! has always sucked.) Each team should have a Colossal, if possible. Otherwise, bring your best giant slayers.

My Team (s): (One of which I would have played at the event)

Medieval Dentistry.

Medieval Dentistry.

“There Is Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself… and This Team.” (Asgardian Themed Team)

  • FI026 Kuurth
  • FI024 Greithoth
  • FI107D The Serpent
  • ATA072 The Mighty
  • Total= 1000 points

How it works: Greithoth will want to try and hit someone with Invincible or Impervious (like an opposing Colossal) right away so that his trait EXTREME ABSORPTION will let him use that power on all 8 of his clicks. He’s got Running Shot so he has a 9 square attack range. (move 5 shoot 4) If he lands exactly on click 5 you should Revert him to IIM103 Absorbing Man. On click 6 or 7 revert to IIM033 Absorbing Man. Being a giant he is also the taxi that carries Kuurth in battle. Try and picture that in your head.

Kuurth is great against smaller, squishy characters that can be carried. His opening Movement lets him charge 6 squares and still attack. That can surprise some people–especially if Kuurth is running through a wall to do it. If he lands on click or 6 or 7 you can consider Reverting to IIM032 Juggernaut, but Kuurth has a 10 click dial so you may not want to Revert at all.

The Serpent needs to build up Fear Counters as fast as possible. To best way to do this is to use Running Shot along with his printed 3 Bolts to target your opponents weakest pieces 3 at a time. Divide up your 7 damage to do at least 1 to everyone. That’s 3 Fear Counters a turn. It will only take 2 turns of that to build up a enough Fear to take multiple actions every turn. While rolling all those attacks with the Serpent you could roll doubles to activate the Mighty ATA. If you do, then your force will have a serious advantage. You will gain 10 counters which you can use to modify the next 10 attacks against your team by -1. That should be a serious advantage.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Only a person with a dark, dark soul would even think to play The Mighty ATA during an event like this...]

 

The best game of Hollywood Squares ever.

The best game of Hollywood Squares – ever.

“Pop Quiz”  (Cosmic Themed Team)

  •  GOTG047AE Thanos
  • GGG002C Ziran the Tester
  • Total= 1000 points

How It works: If you’ve ever played (or played against) Ziran the Tester then you know about his (her? its?) TESTING Trait. For those of you who are new to this figure, the TESTING Trait allows you to do up to 6 damage to an opposing force before the game even starts. Thanos brings a lesser version of that with his CHOOSE – THE GAUNTLET OR THE TRIBUTE Trait. Both of these Traits can be used to damage an opposing character like a Colossal without needing to make an attack roll and before the game even starts.

Once the game does start your opponent’s attention should be focused entirely on the 12 range, 13 attack, 6 damage, Psychic Blasting, Multi-Attacking Ziran the Tester. That distraction will let Thanos make the most of his A BLOODY PATH TO FIND MY SON Trait. People largely panned this character when he came out, but I believe they were wrong. At the 200 point level he can lead himself and if he’s not the opponents main target, he can use Outwit to dish out a bunch of damage.

 

Having given up their dreams of destroying the universe Shuma Gorath and Dormammu make the natural transition to - gangster rap.

Having given up their dreams of destroying our universe, Shuma Gorath and Dormammu make the natural transition to  gangster rap.

“Welcome to the Defenders – Shuma Gorath!” (Mystical Theme Team)

  • ASM005 Dr. Strange
  • ATA088 Midnight Sons
  • AVX006E Scarlet Witch
  • WXM034 Magik
  • ASM008 Doctor Druid
  • WKM-G001E Shuma-Gorath
  • Total= 1000 points

How It works: In a game where you know the other team is most likely going to be centered around a large point character, Shuma Gorath’s EMERGE THROUGH YOUR GREATEST CHAMPION should go a long way towards keeping him healthy and in the game. The last thing you want to face is someone with the Mystics TA that can automatically heal. Do your best to put Shuma within 5 spaces of the enemy team so that you can use Flurry (and later, his Special Incapacitate)

Dr. Strange will use his GATHER THEM: SECRET DEFENDERS OR MIDNIGHT SONS Trait give everyone the Defenders Team Ability. That will let Shuma Gorath share his 19 Defense Value with the rest of your team who (except for Doctor Strange) can add their Energy Shields for a total Defense of 21 against ranged attacks. The team all need to stay adjacent to make this work, so line them up in front of Shuma. Further complicating your opponents attack strategy is the Mystics TA and the fact that your team has 4 Probability Controls!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Including “No More Mutants” Scarlet Witch in this team is just sick and wrong. You are a troubled, troubled man…]

 

Team Ideas – The Unstoppable Force

Idea

See that? Lightning shoots right out of my hand. You should give up now.

See that? Lightning just shoots right out of my hand. You can’t beat that.

So it’s been quite a while since I posted a team ideas column, but I think the wait was worth it. I’ve got a great team idea for today’s article that is completely original to this blog right now and very tournament worthy. Without further ado here’s the team:

The Unstoppable Force

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0

DP042 Grasshopper * 4

WOLR102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) [Writers Note: Battery color and construct color don’t matter that much, just make sure the ring is red.]

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring

WOLR202.03 Mallet (Red)

WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red)

WOLR202.11 Bulldozer (Red)

WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red)

Total= 299 points

The most powerful character ever is a Great Lakes Avenger? You bet it is! This team works much better than you might think it does because of timing rules. When multiple effects happen at the start of your turn, you choose the order in which they happen. So the idea is to put a Red Construct on each of your Grasshoppers, which–in addition to the normal effects of the Construct–grants penetrating poison to each character. Once everyone is equipped, use all three actions to Maximum Jump and remove three grasshoppers from the board. They will be double tokened and they will each take a pushing damage. That sounds bad, but stick with me.

Maximum Napalm!

Maximum Napalm!

On your next turn the Grasshoppers hit the board like virtual napalm. Because of beginning of turn timing rules they can land and then do penetrating poison damage to every adjacent opposing figure immediately. That’s 3 penetrating damage dropped out of the sky with no attack rolls and probably hitting multiple opposing pieces at once. The Grasshoppers are still double tokened, but they haven’t taken an action this turn so they will clear at the end of the turn. And then if you need them to they can maximum jump again next turn with the same bad effect for your opponent. Since you’ve done all that damage on your turn but haven’t taken any actions you can use Maximum Jump on your last unused Grasshopper and even get a standard attack in with Iron Monger. But who likes rolling attack dice? Boring. Just keep doing automatic penetrating damage. That’s so much easier.

Then comes the hard part for your opponent. Every turn a Grasshopper survives next to an opposing character is another Penetrating Poison damage it will do the following turn. Depending on tokens, the number characters he’s playing, and positioning your opponent may not be capable of eliminating them all in one turn. Which means more Poison damage next turn. Just to make it harder on your opponent I’ve included Iron Monger 2.0 on this team. Iron Monger 2.0’s trait says that if your opponent kills a Grasshopper he’ll avoid taking a penetrating poison damage to every adjacent opposing figure next turn, but he’ll trade that for a penetrating explosion damage to every adjacent opposing figure right now! It’s a real lose-lose situation. Don’t knock out a Grasshopper? Take penetrating one damage for every one left alive. Knock out a Grasshopper? Take penetrating one damage for each one you kill.

Star-Lord Gif

After your opponent figures out what’s going on, this could be his response.

Something else to keep in mind is that the first Grasshopper that gets KOed resurrects itself for free in your starting area due to it’s Trait. Being in your starting area doesn’t really matter when you are moving around with Maximum Jump and the construct that was on the KOed figure simply returns to the battery to be redeployed on the resurrected figure. It’s really like you are playing 5 Grasshopper napalm bombs, but only paying for 4.

You’ll need a few turns for deploying constructs to get maximum effectiveness out of this team. Waiting until turn 4 is ideal. You can use the fact that this is a theme team to win map roll and make it a map that’s hard to traverse from one side to another. Wundagore Mountain anyone? Then if you need to you can use Iron Monger and any Grasshoppers that are ready to engage the other team for a turn or two from a distance. After taking all those Battery actions early, it should be pretty easy to get to the end of the dial. Which means that if all Grasshoppers are eliminated your opponent will likely still have to face down an Iron Monger 2.0 with Shape Change, Penetrating Poison, Plasticity, and +3 to all stats.

It takes a special kind of crazy to run Lethal Legion at a ROC...

Artist’s rendition of what it looks like when Iron Monger 2.0 gets plus three to all stats.

If you surprise people with this team by taking it to you next constructed tournament, there is really only one thing to say to someone trying to beat it.

Seinfeld Good Luck

Eh… On Second Thought, What the Heck? Go Ahead and Do This, Scott!! (Or, The Build 4, Part 2!!)

"And this is just from indigestion. Imagine what'll happen when I'm really mad."

“THIS is what can happen when you ‘Imagine Dragons!'”

Welcome to Part 2 of our fourth “The Build” column! For information on the game I was building for and the thought process behind why I chose the army I did, click here.

And now that you’re all caught up, Let’s Get Fightin’!!

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

"Oh look, my shirt's off again."

“Oh look, my shirt’s off again.”

WXM038 Legion – 119

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX014 Magneto – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

WXM016 Cyclops – 94

WXM045 Phoenix – 154

(Assigned a Fragment)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Nice job, bro!)

FIGHT!

I honestly don’t remember how Ninwashui had his Frags arranged; as it would turn out, it didn’t really matter.

We began by tying on map roll; we rerolled, and I took it. I chose the K’un Lun map. We each advanced slightly on our first turns; on turn two, I unleashed Sentry and Void and Hawkeye (with Mockingbird backing him up for the additional +1 to Attack), and Cyclops was pretty much dead in short order. Ninwa retaliated by having Legion choose good supporting powers like Perplex with his Trait (HIDDEN PERSONALITIES: Give Legion a free action and choose a standard power, then roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. He acquires a “Personality Quirk” from the table below, and uses that and the standard power until your next turn.1: “Cowardly” Legion modifies his attack value by -2.2: “Confused” Legion modifies his speed and defense values by -1.3: “Grounded” Legion can use Earthbound/Neutralized.4: “Enraged” Legion can use Battle Fury.5: “Compassionate” Immediately heal all adjacent characters 1 click.6: “Savant” Legion modifies his combat values by +1. Choose another standard power and he can also use that power.), and then he hit a Running Shot on Sentry and Void for 5 damage straight through (via her Penetrating/Psychic Blast)! Ouch! After this, though, 2 things happened.

First, I got slightly more conservative with my Sentry and Void placement. Second… poor Ninwashui never hit another roll (at least not after one of my Theme Team Probs or Scarlet Witch’s native Prob). The biggest insult to Ninwa came when he sent Legion on a Hypersonic run at Rookie Mockingbird just to pick up SOME points from the match. I believe at that point he needed a 7 to just straight up KO her; instead, he rolled yet another 3. This ended up as a 600-0 squash, which was not at all where I thought we were headed after the first couple turns.

DECISION:

600-0 Victory.

WHAT I LEARNED:

–I went to the trouble of assigning the Cyclops Fragment to Sentry and Void, and then NEVER used it the whole day. That was a major mistake. It didn’t really cost me, but it wasn’t until the whole tournament was over that I realized that I could have been using RCE IN ADDITION to the bonuses provided by the Phoenix Dial, of which I was much more mindful. Don’t know if it would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I’m sure I took a few second actions with Sentry and Void’s Multi-attack where I was just firing away without using any of the RCE bonuses. Boo hiss on me.

Phoenix was potent offensively, especially in her first 3 clicks, but when she missed her Shape Change roll, Sentry and Void pretty much vaporized her over the course of the next couple turns. Her dial feels like it should be more in the 14o or so point range, which may not seem like a huge difference from the 154 she costs now, but those extra few points actually close of a lot of different build possibilities. I really like this piece, but I’ve never seen her take over a game to the extent that it seems like she should be able to (whether I was playing her or playing against her).

Legion was a real surprise for me. He was extremely useful, even if Ninwashui rolled Battle Fury about 7 out of 10 times. He’s a figure I enjoyed playing against, even if he was really hard to plan for from turn to turn.

WXM016 Cyclops is not a bad figure–he just got eaten up in this environment. For the extra six points, I’d probably prefer the Experienced AvX version, but I know Ninwashui has had terrible luck with that fig, so it didn’t surprise me that he went with a different Cyclops this month.

–200 Point AvX Magneto is good… unless he’s facing a 98 Point Chaos War Hawkeye. With the Phoenix Force slot I was starting on, Hawkeye basically had a 13 Attack, and if I could maneuver Mockingbird into a square adjacent to the one I wanted Hawkeye to end up in during a Running Shot, his attack zoomed up to a 14. This was huge in a couple games, because Magneto’s Defense is really hard to crack. It’s 18 with ES/D to start, and most people who played him gave him a Fragment and left the Colossus Fragment on the resource base, which meant that even if you hit him, Mags had access to BOTH Invuln and his native Invincible (while you can’t use two reducers at the same time, that meant that even if you Outwitted Invincible, he’d still be subtracting 2 from any non-penetrating damage). But after 3 damage, that defense drops from 18 to 16, which is much easier to touch (even with his Traited ES/D still in effect). So I had basically planned on using Hawkeye as a “bunker-buster” this tournament, Perplexing his Damage to 4 and hitting Mags for 2 on Hawkeye’s first attack and 2 more on his second in any game where I saw Buckethead. Didn’t QUITE work out that way this game (ending up targeting Cyclops first), but Hawkeye was still a straight beast. As the build total went up each month, Hawkeye only got better. His Wildcard TA (Spider-Man) meant that his effectiveness would grow as his supporting cast grew. In this build, AvX Scarlet Witch gave him Mystics TA on my opponent’s turns and IM3 Tony Stark gave him Avengers Initiative, one of the best TA’s in the game, which essentially let him target Stealthed figures.

"Eat $#!%, Green Arrow."

“Eat $#!%, Green Arrow. If anyone deserves a show on the CW, it’s–wait, the CW? I don’t want a show on the CW! You know what? Eat you heart out, Oliver.”

All in all, CW039 Hawkeye was pound-for-pound my best performer in Month 4. He’s a 5-Star figure on HCRealms, and he was worth every point I spent to play him. He’s that rare figure who’s really damn good in a multitude of point builds.

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: A (Venue Regular–see below!)

FACING:

Shiny Happy Avengers.

Shiny Happy Avengers.

M10A009 Iron Man – 225

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

(Assigned a Fragment)

AvX003 Thor – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

CW039 Hawkeye – 98

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (I believe that’s how Andrew had his Fragments set–if I’m wrong, I apologize Andrew. A smart man might have taken better notes, but here we are…)

FIGHT!

My second opponent is A, a regular at our venue, Comics & More, and he is a high-level player. While he’s certainly capable of putting together some killer team builds, what he really excels at in my opinion is in-game strategy–specifically, adapting what his team does best to the conditions and positioning on the battlefield. I’ve gone against him several times with what I thought (at least at the time) were better teams only to watch as he picked me apart piece by piece. He also seems to enjoy finding some of the quirkier corners of the game and is a master at using Perplex to get most of his key pieces up to absurdly high Defense levels.

I was very nervous going into this game because A had defeated me with a similar version of this team (he added Hawkeye and the resource, and powered down Scarlet Witch from 75 to 50 Points) in Month 3. I just did not know what I was going to do about M10 Iron Man–I had been praying that I wouldn’t play against one, as both my main AND secondary attacker were using Phoenix Fragments.

I seem to recall that A won Map Roll; regardless of who did, we ended up fighting on the surface of the Moon. A brought his fully powered M10 Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye to the center of the map, setting Hawkeye down in Hindering Terrain. On my turn, I used “No More Mutants” to get rid of his Scarlet Witch’s Mystics TA (so that his Hawkeye couldn’t copy it anymore), then I ran my standard Hawkeye/Mockingbird play and–after Wildcarding Avengers Initiative–smacked his Hawkeye for 3, even though he was Stealthed. Sentry and Void then went to work–and missed twice, after A used up half of his Theme Team probs. Dang.

He countered back by taking out Tony Stark (bye-bye AI TA), but I came right back with Sentry and Void and used Multi-attack to finish off his Hawkeye and get a big blast in on Thor (at that point, I believe my dial had turned to the +1 to Damage, so that hit was about 6 damage straight through). Meanwhile, Mockingbird had tied up M10 Iron Man and even got a hit in with her CCE. Looking at the board, A actually used his Scarlet Witch to attack Sentry and Void–and hit! Then Thor went for the Pulse Wave against Sentry and Void. He needed an 8 at that point I believe to do 5-6 damage, which would have put Sentry and Void on one of its last clicks. He rolled the dice… and he missed! Whew.  M10 Iron Man hit his own Pulse Wave, but with both Mockingbird and Hawkeye within range, he only did 1 damage to each.

On my next turn, Sentry and Void finished off his Thor and Scarlet Witch. A took out Mockingbird, but at this point the match simply became about whittling M10 Iron Man’s Adaptive Armor (ADAPTIVE ARMOR: When Iron Man would take damage from a character assigned a relic or resource, Iron Man ignores that damage and rolls a d6. On a result of 1-3, deal Iron Man 1 unavoidable damage. This ability can’t be ignored.) down with Sentry and Void, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. M10 Iron Man lasted FOREVER, but couldn’t really muster any offense, and eventually Andrew missed enough rolls that he was KO’d–he just got out-actioned too badly at that point since it was 3-1. Still, it took forever–A made enough rolls to really flummox my troops with that Trait for a while there.

DECISION:

600-175 (I want to say that he killed Scarlet Witch, and I know he KO’d Tony Stark and Mockingbird. So we’ll go with 175. Yes, I know, a smarter man would have taken better notes!!)

WHAT I LEARNED:

–M10 Iron Man can be dealt with even by figures assigned Resources or Relics, but you need to be EXTREMELY patient and you REALLY need to take out his supporting figs first. Just like Silver Centurion brings his own secondary attacker with his Pulse Bolt Torpedo, M10 Iron Man really sort of brings his own Support team with top dial Perplex and Mid-Dial Outwit to go with his Adaptive Armor Trait.

The scariest gently-swaying -in-the-jetstream piece in the whole tournament!

The scariest “gently-swaying -in-the-jetstream” piece in the whole tournament!

–AvX Thor is great… until he gets hit. Outwit and Pen/Psy are his main weaknesses (aren’t they everyone’s main weakness?). His attack and damage output are great, but his native defense never rises over a 17. A Psychic Blast for even 3 damage can burn through 100 Points of clicks in one hit. That’s why I like his 100 Point dial better than his 200 Point Dial, incidentally.

–A assigned the Emma Frost Fragment to the Scarlet Witch, which was very clever. Most people play the 75-Point version just for her Telekinesis; A realized he could get that TK just by paying about 6 additional Points (3 for the Fragment and 3 for assigning that Fragment to her).

–A brief note about IM3 Tony Stark. For 50 Points, just the fact that he gives you Outwit and Enhancement with 17 Defense and Willpower is pretty damn good. That he can be promoted AND the fact that he provides Avengers Initiative to all your Wildcards is just gravy. One of my favorite pieces from the IM3 set, definitely.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: B, (another Venue regular and my nemesis from Month 2!)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Nemesis is used rather loosely here, as Comics & More is a pretty friendly environment. Just thought I’d throw that out there.)

(DEADPOOL NOTE: Regarding the Editor’s Note above:

"We've waited 2 extra days already for this recap. How about you GET ON WITH IT?!"

“We’ve waited 2 extra days already for this recap. How about you GET ON WITH IT?!”

End of DeadPool note.)

FACING:

WXM032 Bishop -140

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX014 Magneto – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX010 Emma Frost – 125

WXM209 Jean Grey – 100

(Assigned a Fragment)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=598 (I wish I could remember who had what Fragment; alas, this is my best guess recreation–B, if you’re reading this, go ahead and let me know what I screwed up in the Comments!)

B is another great local player who’d done well in previous AvX tourneys, so I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. His teams are usually pretty innovative, and like A, he enjoys exploring some of the weirder sides of team building. Having said that, this was a downright normal team for him, and after Map Choice was decided (he won, and we ended up back in K’un Lun), he moved his force up and sat Magneto in one of the printed Hindering Terrain squares on the first level. I countered with my “Hawkeye” bunker buster strategy and conglomerated around the other bit of printed Hindering Terrain that was just a few squares away from the one Mags was in and hit (albeit only for a small amount–only 1-2 damage) to open up the attacking, and we were off and running! On his turn, he started maneuvering the rest of his team into the fray, and I followed that by continuing to chip away at Magneto with Hawkeye and Sentry and Void. Soon I scored the KO on Mags (along with the early advantage), but it cost me Tony Stark (who I’d moved forward to counter Mags’s Invincible).

The tables started to turn my opponents way, and soon he had KO’d Scarlet Witch and Mockingbird as well, and while I had damaged just about everyone but Bishop, I hadn’t KO’d anyone else. Jean Grey was showing Support at that point, so I took her out with Sentry and Void, but it left him in a precarious position, and B. took advantage of that by plugging him for a decent chunk of damage. Eventually I managed to take out Emma Frost, but it cost me Sentry and Void when B. countered with a pretty Phoenix’d out Bishop. At that point the dial was showing +2 to all stats plus Hypersonic Speed.

The end of the game came down to Hawkeye still on first click and the Phoenix Force providing him with +2 to Attack and Hypersonic Speed, which was perfect because Bishop was down to either his last click or his second to last click, and trying to hit him from range was just asking for trouble. My opponent moved Bishop to temporary safety, and I had to move across the map to get into position for a Hypersonic strike, which I did… right as the Judge called time. As I went second to start the game, that meant that the game ended with my last move that turn. B. almost didn’t realize he had won, and announced that he was clearing Bishop. I almost had to shake him to tell him he’d won.

It was an extremely close match, and I can’t say for certain I would have come out on top even if time hadn’t ended. The way things sat, I would have needed about a 5 to KO Bishop with a close combat HSS strike (Hawkeye’s modified attack at that point was 14 while Bishop’s modified Defense was 19 (16 +2 from the resource plus resource granted Perplex +1 =19). Certainly not impossible, but not a gimme either.

I came close, but B’s team (or more accurately, his skilled play) turned out to be too much for me. He won the tourney; with about 1658 points (out of a possible 1798 or something like that), I finished 2nd, leaving me with finishes of 2, 1, 2 and 2 for the whole event. The Judge assigned Player Points to every competitor each month based on attendance, points earned and final place.

With the Month Four win, B… finished ONE Player Point behind me. It really could not have been any closer. He played a great game, had a great four months, and had he taken the top prize, he certainly would have been worthy. Congrats to him for winning the month and go home with a Phoenixbuster Iron Man (who may make some noise at a ROC–this isn’t the last you’ll here of Peanut Butter PB Iron Man).

"Hey, HypeFox--you missed me, @$$hole."

“Hey, HypeFox–you missed me, @$$hole.”

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Bishop plus the Phoenix Force is pretty damn formidable. His Trait (TIMESLIDE: Once per game, give Bishop a double power action to use Phasing/Teleport. When you do, he can use Probability Control until your next turn, and after actions resolve, you may give him a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) can completely shift the balance of power in a game if used judiciously.

–Sentry and Void is sick and wrong, especially in a Build format where he has enough points left to field a pretty good support squad. Multi-attack has been slightly nerfed in the last year or so, but it’s still so powerful that you ONLY TEND TO SEE IT ON COLOSSALS WHO ARE MORE THAN 500 POINTS! A regular fig who’s 300 even? That’s still really good. Even Dark Phoenix Cyclops at 300 Points doesn’t have Multi-attack!

–WXM Gravity Feed Jean Grey is damn good!

–Going in, I thought Emma Frost would be a pain to deal with, but she ended up being beatable every month I played her. While she could be a pest with her Mind Control and Outwit, I mostly left her alone whenever I played her until most of her teammates were gone. She didn’t wasn’t as formidable as I thought she would be going in.

And now, after four months of blood sweat and tears of playing Heroclix:

THE SPOILS:

"My Precioussss...."

“My Precioussss….”

And:

Blocky, The Forgotten Go-Bot.

Blocky, The Forgotten Go-Bot.

 

Take it easy everyone, and thanks for your patience. Back next week with some new stuff, including a final wrap-up of AvX wherein we’ll rate the best and worst pieces (now that we finally know the whole set), and keep an eye out for the Top 1o Deadpool figures, which should definitely drop before the end of the month!

I Can’t Let You Do This, Scott!! (Or, The Build 4!!)

"RIght then. Who's next?"

“WHO’S behind me? Psh. Yeah, like I’d fall for that again.”

 

Annnnnnnd, welcome back! This is the Build 4, where I run down my options for a specific game build, choose one, and then take you through how my choices turned out during the event itself! As you might have guessed from the picture above, today we’ll be talking about Avengers Versus X-Men: Month 4, where Phoenixbuster Iron Man and Dark Phoenix Cyclops will be up for grabs!!

Prep:

Okay!! Leading into the last month of AvX, I’ve finished 2nd, 1st (click here and here for Build coverage of Month 2!) and 2nd respectively at the first three AvX tourneys, so I’m in the running for the Dark Phoenix Cyclops overall grand prize along with Ninwashui and a couple others at my venue! So I’ve got to come up with something awesome! Here we go!

The Game: AvX Month 4

The Stipulations: 600 Points, Modern Age. Must use at least one figure from an AvX starter; the rest of your army must share a keyword with that figure (I have the Avengers starter). Only Phoenix Force Relics and Resources are allowed (but we don’t yet have access to the Magik Fragment; that final piece is one of the participation prizes for this month, so the Phoenix Force can have a maximum of 4 Fragments).

The Build:

My first idea was to go back to what won me Month 2 (which was really Month 1, yadayadayada)–a “Mystical” Theme Team:

"I'd like your resource better if it glowed blue, but I'll take it all the same."

“I’d like your resource better if it glowed blue, but I’ll take it all the same.”

Team: Loki Charms

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110

AVM211 Loki – 201

(Assigned Cyclops Fragment)

AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100

IIM040 Shaman – 92

(with Alpha Flight ATA)

Thule Society Priest – 21

Astral Dr. Strange – 13

(Smoke Cloud version)

Astral Dr. Strange – 13

(Smoke Cloud Version)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 9

(With the Colossus, Namor & Emma Frost Fragments Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Woo-hoo!)

What I Like About This Team:

I love playing Iron Pharaoh. I almost always have good results with him, and I need a good result this month. And I really like playing the Pharaoh with Shaman, even when many of Shaman’s potential “No Flight” victims will still fly just fine with the Phoenix Force, at least I’d take away their ability to Carry. Plus, I’m bound to run into some flyers who won’t be assigned a Fragment, right? Additionally, with the Alpha Flight ATA, there are matchups (against a team of, say, X-Men) where Shaman is going to sport an 11 Attack, 3 Damage and 7 Range top dial before he evens decides on what he wants to do with his Perplex. That’s not a bad tertiary attacker.

AVM Loki is a beast. He just needs a little help with finding a way to move and attack in the same turn (for just how beastly he gets with the Phoenix Force, click here). The Priest is just there for tie-up fodder/Prob Control, and the Astral Dr. Stranges are ridiculously meddlesome for just 13 points apiece. Plus, every attack my opponent wastes on one of them is one not directed at the Pharaoh or Loki.

With a +7 (!) to Map Roll, this team was pretty well rounded with two big hitters and a TON of trickeration. With 2 different characters (the Pharaoh and Loki) possessing some sort of special Mind Control and 6 Theme Probs to go with the Scarlet Witch’s native Prob (and with Shaman, Loki and Thule Society Priest all able to pick up Prob down dial), my opponents will probably be rerolling a LOT. Loki charms, indeed.

What I Don’t Like About This Team:

Not much. It’s pretty well-rounded, and even if Loki goes down I’ve still got some decent damage dealing pieces left. One thing that irked me with this build is not being able to give the Cyke Fragment to Iron Pharaoh. I’d like this army a whole lot better if I had access to all 5 Fragments. I’d dump the Alpha Flight ATA and add in Iron Pharaoh as an Assigned Character. Then he’d be able to shoot for at least 5 damage through his Falcon AND Loki could still have Running Shot (because the Phoenix Force would still start on the “3 Attached Fragments” tier of its dial). This may be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but the thought of Iron Pharaoh with that Cyclops Fragment teaming with a Running Shot-capable Loki would haunt me every game. It’s a little, stupid thought, but it would have the potential to linger in my mind and nag and distract me during each game–and I’m not nearly a good enough player to win against good players while I’m distracted.

So I was kind of uneasy about this army until my prep for this Build took a dramatic turn on Easter. My brother presented me with a special gift (yeah, me and my bro still do a small gift exchange–we’re dorks like that, but, since you’re reading a blog dedicated to ‘Clixin’, you probably already surmised that) in the monstrous form of…

"Hello, tasties..."

“Hello, tasties…”

 

… The Chaos War Chase piece Sentry and Void!!

In addition to being probably my favorite character created in the Modern era of comics, the Sentry is also usually an Avenger, so I’d been dying to play him in some form during this tournament. Well, when I received Sentry and Void, I knew I’d have to go out of my way to include him somehow. I grabbed his card praying that he’d have a keyword in common with one of the AvX Starter figures. I knew he’d probably have the Dark Avengers keyword, which wouldn’t really help me, but maybe he’d have a Mystical keyword too. It was a long shot, but then I turned his card over to its front side and had a look. There it was!! The very first keyword:

Avengers.

A selfie I took the second I found out that Sentry and Void has the Avengers keyword.

A selfie I took the second I found out that Sentry and Void has the Avengers keyword.

Not only does Rob Reynolds and his Dark Half have Hypersonic Speed and Multi-attack, but he also has… the AVENGERS keyword! This is both Awe and Some!!

And, somehow fitting, I think. Forget these namby-pamby generic keywords! This is Avengers Vs. X-Men–and come hell or high water, I’m gonna play an Avengers Theme Team, dammit (EDITOR’S NOTE: This sort of pretentiously righteous team-building bravado is made MUCH easier by being able to field a 300-point monster like Sentry and Void. At the event itself, when I turned in my Build card, the Judge casually wondered if I’d left my soul at home when he saw Sentry and Void on the list. And really, it was a fair question.) !

No more bad thoughts tugging at my brain of what could have been; I’m building everything around Sentry and Void!

"Go home, Void! You're drunk!"

“Calm down, bud! Hawkeye’s actually on your team!”

Team: A Void and the Noid

CW057 Sentry and Void – 300 (A Void)

(Assigned the Cyclops Fragment)

CW039 Hawkeye – 98 (The Noid)

(Assigned the Emma Frost Fragment)

AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100

FFCW005R Mockingbird – 25

IM3006 Tony Stark – 50

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Again! Woo-hoo!)

What I Like About This Team:

Hmmm… well, I like that I get to play a ridiculously overpowered Chase piece AND assign the Phoenix Force to him. Annnnnnd I like that I get to back him up with that Chaos War Hawkeye, who has ridiculous offensive potential when you combine him with that rookie Mockingbird and the Phoenix Force resource (if I position my team correctly, when the time comes for him to take his first shot every game, he’ll take it with a 14 Attack–that’s AWESOME!). Scarlet Witch provides a ton of Support herself, and Tony Stark gives the team an Outwit that can see through Hindering Terrain, Enhancement and the Avengers Initiative Team Ability so that Hawkeye can see through Hindering himself! Plus, I’ll get a +5 to Map Roll AND five Theme Probs. Not bad!

What I Don’t Like About This Team:

Even with the Theme Probs, I don’t have a ton of trickeration (ie support powers), so if Hawkeye and Sentry and Void start missing, I could be in trouble. Additionally, Experienced AvX Scarlet Witch is no slouch in the attack department, but as a tertiary attacker in a 600 point game, she makes me nervous (her Precision Strike should help that though). Still, though… I’d get to play Sentry and Void!!

Alrighty then! I have my team, and everything is up for grabs! To find out how this team performed, what I learned and what I earned (if anything)…

Little known Keanu Reeves movie. You can find more info on Keanu's IMDB page under the heading "Oh, God, this was actually a thing?"

Little known Keanu Reeves movie. You can find more info on Keanu’s IMDB page under the heading “Oh, God, this was actually a thing?”

 

TUNE IN TOMORROW for The Build 4: Part 2!!

(Yeah, I’m a #$%^ like that. But you won’t have to wait long, I promise!)

See ya’ll tomorrow!

 

 

 

Local Tournament Report – 4/23/14 Comics & More

"Instant Karma's gonna get you  Gonna knock you right on the head  You better get yourself together  Pretty soon you're gonna be dead..."

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead…” -A spell by John Lennon

 

The Format: AvX Month 3. Must use at least 1 figure from the starter. Other figures must share a keyword with the starter figure. 500 point modern. No relics, Colossals. You can use the Phoenix force resource and the three parts we’ve received so far (Colossus, Namor, Cyclops).

What I played:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

AVX014 Magneto

WXM045 Phoenix (With Namor Fragment)

WXM038 Legion (With Cyclops Fragment)

Total = 500 Points

I finally did a build article and stuck to it! You can read about the strategy for my team “TK for the Win” here.

 

"Sure, I may not have Willpower, but--wait, I don't have Willpower? S#!tballs!"

“Sure, I may not have Willpower, but–wait, I don’t have Willpower? S#!tballs!”

Round 1:

Facing:

AVX001 Captain America

SLOSH005B Mon-El

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC)

Total = 485 Points

My opponent was new to our venue and thus didn’t know about the shared keyword being required. We played on a map similar to Wundagore Mountain [EDITOR’S NOTE: That would be the  Verkhoyansk Mountains Map]. As the armies closed in on each other I was up on elevated terrain in the center of the map. All three of his characters were grounded about a third of the way up. Iron Pharaoh’s falcon lagged behind. Captain America did a Running Shot up a stairs. He tried to target Legion, but I pointed out the stealth. He targeted Magneto and missed. He didn’t use the Pharaoh and Mon-el because they would take pushing damage. On my turn I struck back. Magneto did a Running Shot Pulse Wave for 4 penetrating damage (cap only has 5 range and was close). Then my opponent realized he hadn’t declared Energy Shield with Cap last turn. I offered to let him, but he declined. Phoenix used psychic blast for 4 damage on Cap and that was a KO.

Next turn Mon-el used Hypersonic speed and an object to attack Phoenix. She missed shape change. He hit his attack. She ignored the damage by hitting impervious. Iron Pharaoh had no move and attack so he just walked into a good shooting position. After KO-ing cap I had turned the dial once  and that granted my team sidestep. Phoenix pushed to do a Running Shot and hit Mon-el for 4. Then she used Sidestep to get back to Legion. Legion chose support and healed Phoenix back to her top click. Magneto pushed to Pulse Wave Iron Pharaoh for 4.

The remainder of his team was injured. Mon-el had no move and attack so he flew next to Legion and ended his turn. Legion choose Impervious and Phoenix was in a position to outwit Mon-el’s close combat expert. I cleared tokens. Mon-el decided not to push to have the possibility of doing 1 damage to Legion. The Pharaoh missed Magneto.

The following turn Magneto finished off the Pharaoh with another 4 damage pulse wave. Phoenix outwitted Mon-el’s defense and Legion used Close Combat Expert for the knockout punch.

My opponents team was interesting and I am sure his strategy had merits, but if I was playing that team I would have done a few things differently. I would have left the Pharaoh much farther away from the battle and waited for the Golden Falcon to be a factor. I also would have kept Mon-El directly behind Captain America as much as possible. Mon-el’s special defend along with Cap’s traited Energy Shield could have given cap a 21 defense versus range!

"I'm viable in the Meta. Y'know, If you just give me, like, three more powers. And some slightly better stats. And a resource. And Hope Summers."

“I am VIABLE in the Meta! …Y’know, If you just give me, like, three more powers. And some slightly better stats. And a resource. And a Hope Summers. Or Rachel Summers, or any of my sisters for that matter–you know what? I’m not viable in the Meta.”

 

Round 2:

Facing:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

AVX009 Cyclops (With Namor Fragment)

AVX010 Emma Frost

AVX101 Cable (With Cyclops Fragment)

IH035 Wolverine

Total = 496 Points

This opponent started the match using Flight from the Phoenix shards to carry his forces around. When I pointed out that the Phoenix Shards only granted Flight and didn’t grant Carry, he realized his mistake. At that point he called the judge over and has his first game changed from a win to a loss. That feat of awesome honesty lost him the first game, but Karma (or luck, or divine intervention) made all my rolls go sour in game two.

So we started the game over and my opponent slowly walked his characters into corner down a 2 square wide hallway created by Elevated Terrain and left them bunched together. Due to my superior movement abilities, my team got the first opportunity to strike. I had Phoenix hit wolverine for 4 penetrating damage.  Magneto was then able to swing in and hit the entire opposing team with a 1 damage Pulse Wave. That was enough to KO Wolverine. Legion used Hypersonic and missed Cyclops’s practically naked 17 defense. Missing a 17 defense on an attack was going to happen several more times this game.

My opponent struck back. He outwitted Magneto’s defense, used Cable’s RCE and +1 attack from the Phoenix Force to spice up his attack to 12 and nailed Magneto for 4 damage. The rest of his team missed Magneto. He had rolled doubles so his resource gave him Sidestep.

Magneto ran back to Legion. Legion pushed to try a support roll, but rolled a 5. Phoenix cleared. My opponent’s team cleared. The next turn he used his 3(!) Outwits to remove all of Phoenix’s Defensive powers and hit her twice for a total of four damage(due to Invuln from the Colossus shard). On my turn my team scattered and tried to use elevated for cover.

Legion eventually did successfully heal Magneto, but only for 1 damage. Cable used Sidestep to fly up to elevated and get another hit in on Magneto. Phoenix had 3 non-penetrating damage showing and I knew that with Cable and Cyclops both having shard-granted Invuln, it wasn’t going to be a fun time taking them on. Still, I had Phoenix base them to save Magneto.

On the last turn before the judge called time Phoenix’s defense was Outwitted and Cyclops hit her for 3 damage and the KO. So I lost the game 70-160. HypeFox pointed out later that this shouldn’t have been a KO. I had forgotten about Phoenix’s shard-granted Invuln and taken too much damage. Karma, you can’t fight it.

 

"Cosplayers love me."

“Cosplayers love me.”

Round 3:

Facing:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

FI031 Wolverine (With Namor Fragment)

WXM031 Gambit (With Colossus Fragment)

AVX009E Cyclops (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM063 Psylocke

WXM047B Jubilee

Total = 495 Points

This game was the polar opposite of game 2. I started out by taking the elevated center on the Limbo map. My opponent sent Gambit and Psylocke down the right edge of the map and the remaining characters went down the left hand side. With my move and attack advantage I realized it was going to take him two turns at least for his team from one side to help his team on the other side.

Magneto started with a Pulse Wave aimed at Gambit. Hit for 4 clicks. Phoenix pushed for a Running Shot and that KO’d Gambit. My resource switched to a pink movement power, so Phoenix was able to Sidestep back to adjacency with Legion. Legion choose Hypersonic speed and rolled a 6! He gained +1 to all stats and choose Battle Fury as his second power. He ran in, ignored Shape Change, hit Psylocke for 4 and moved next to Phoenix again.

On my opponent’s turn he cleared Psylocke, moved up Jubilee, marched Wolverine next to Magneto, and attacked Phoenix with Cyclops. She hit her Impervious roll and took one (due to Precision Strike). On my turn, every character I had was double tokened. I chose Impervious with Legion and rolled a 5, healing Phoenix of 1 damage. I cleared. Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jubilee were all double tokened. Psylocke was stuck in hindering and moved 3 steps closer to me. My opponent cleared.

On my turn Magneto executed a Running Shot Pulse Wave with which he hit all opposing characters except for Psylocke for 1. Then Phoenix hit Wolverine for 3 penetrating damage with Psychic Blast, which put the Canucklehead on his stop click. Legion finished him off with a 12 attack, 3 damage RCE (due to the Cyke Shard). After his attack Legion chose Impervious again and rolled a 5, which healed Phoenix to full.

On his last turn Cyclops attacked Phoenix and she rolled Shape Change. He switched to Magneto and missed. Psylocke cleared. On my turn Magneto used Pulse Wave on Cyclops hitting for 4. Phoenix pushed to finish him off. Legion chose Hypersonic Speed again and rolled another 6!. He chose Willpower as a second power. He used Hypersonic to range attack Psylocke and finished her off.

The match was complete blowout, but a lot of that was due to my lucky rolls as opposed to anything my opponent did wrong. I never missed, I was only hit for 1 damage, Phoenix kept making defensive rolls, and my Legion rolls of 5 and 6 were just statistically absurd. I guess Karma was swinging back the other way.

It was an unusual tournament and at the end I did take first place because everyone had at least one loss after 3 rounds.

What I learned:

"Great, I'll probably manifest, like, a dozen more personalities after this."

“Great, I’ll probably manifest, like, a dozen more personalities after this.”

  • WXM038 Legion Legion is definitely worth the points if you play him thinking that you will always be getting Battle fury, or Earthbound, or -2 attack. Until the last game those were literally the only personality quirks I got. If you can plan around those, this guy is the real deal. I ended up using Support, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, Hypersonic Speed, will power, Earthbound (so he could be carried), Battle Fury (to get around shape change) and Impervious (when I knew he was about to take a hit). The three times his savant trait (+1 to all stats AND choose a second power) came up this tournament were sweet. He was a lot of fun and I will want to use him again soon.
  • WXM045 Phoenix was extremely powerful with her running shot and psychic blast, but she seemed to miss a lot (10 starting attack). Also due to my poor rolling her defense was not as strong as it statistically should have been(until the last game). I think I hit Impervious or Shape Change twice all night. Her Outwit was key for me, but I never got to Outwit multiple powers with it. I would use her again.
  • AVX014 Magneto is still awesome. In the two tournaments I’ve used him in now he’s only been KOed once. (Damn you, Hawkeye!) He’s a defensive powerhouse. Just don’t roll low on his Running Shot Pulse Wave.
  • AVX101 Cable by himself isn’t a great figure. However if he’s given Sidestep, R.C.E., AND an opponent with a penchant for missing – he’s very good.
  • Game 2 I faced essentially naked 17 defenses and I kept rolling low. Karma…
  • The Phoenix force resource might be the most complicated game element we’ve gotten yet. Everyone who played it screwed up something about it at least once this tournament.

The Build 2, Part 2!! (Or, The Results Are In!!)

Let's... GET IT ON!

Let’s… GET IT ON! For REALS this time!

 

Okay! So… that happened!

Click here if you need to be refreshed on the game type and stipulations! Once you’re caught up, head right back here, cuz the results… are in!

 

Essentially, this is what it came down to. Except I used a lil' older version of ol' Shellhead...

Essentially, this is what it came down to. Except I used a lil’ older version of ol’ Shellhead…

ROUND 1! FIGHT!

My first match was against Ninwashui. He was using AVX009e Cyclops, AVX010e Emma Frost & AVX014 Magneto. Oh, Magneto… I’d forgotten about you and your 20 Defense against ranged attacks. Eeeshh. When rolling for map, we actually tied. On the second roll, I beat him with my superior Theme bonus and took the battle to Wundagore, which ended up being a sizable advantage for me, since his characters had to walk around the long way. Cyclops was, frankly, toast, although in fairness, this was a terrible matchup for that figure. With no taxi, he was tokened by the time he got into the fight, and the Golden Falcon Special Terrain marker was right there to meet him. With the bonuses the Pharaoh gets because Cyke is a “Ruler,” the X-Men’s Fearless Leader went down like a sack of hot, moist and delicious potatoes.

I was able to get one Mind Control through with Brother Voodoo on Magneto, but it ended up being an odd play. I blasted Emma Frost for a healthy amount of damage, but to do so, I had to move Magneto on a Running Shot to the place where Ninwashui probably would have wanted him anyway, so he could start going crazy with Pulse Wave. Luckily for me, my defenses were still pretty high, and even though Mags eventually whittled down Voodoo, Scarlet Witch and Astral Doc Strange, I still had a full Shaman and half an Iron Pharaoh left while Mags was double chipped with no other friendlies to TK anywhere (I think Mags was a couple clicks in, but I could be wrong). Time was called at that point, but it would have been interesting if the match had continued. I believe I still would have won based on where Magneto was at on his dial and the fact that I would have gotten in another Pharaoh attack or two before Magneto could go again (Magneto also buffs the Pharaoh since he too is a “Ruler”).

What I Learned From This Round:

–My strategy for why I built the team I built seems sound at this point. The movement advantage I enjoyed this round certainly paid off in delaying any confrontations until the Golden Falcon soared into the enemy.

–Full dial AvX Magneto is redonkulous. His defense against ranged attacks borders on insane, especially when its combined with Invincible. No matter what angle of attack you take… he’s gonna be around for awhile. The fact that he can run a limited TK for free when he has two action tokens means that even when Mags couldn’t fly or carry, Ninwashui still had a half-decent taxi on his force. He’s got all that PLUS 11 Attack with Pulse Wave and an 8 Range on his first click. He’s a figure I should have been more prepared to face, given that he’s from the freaking AvX Starters. Still, I was taken a bit by surprise by just how powerful he was, particularly in a game that was designed to limit the usefulness of any figure that flies.

–Oh yeah–Iron Pharaoh is really good. You probably know that, but I just thought I’d repeat it in case you’d forgotten.

–Shaman’s “No Flights” spell is a FREE ACTION! Wow. Completely changes the game and it’s not even a power action. Unbelievable! While his no flying shenanigans were the inspiration for this team, his 7 range Perp along with his high defense against ranged attacks were just as important this round.

–Brother Voodoo is Brother Voodoo. He’s sick and wrong. He’s also the first figure that Ninwashui tried to kill. Eventually, he succeeded, but not until the rest of my army had basically taken out the rest of his army. Using Brother Voodoo as bait would be a recurring theme on the night…

 

What's that Wanda? No, not--it's no more "flights!" Wait, which spell did YOU cast?

Wanda, what was that? No, not–it’s “no more FLIGHTS!” Wait, which “no more” spell did you cast?

ROUND 2! FIGHT!!

For the second round, I played R, a player who’s just gotten back into the game after a long hiatus. Even though he’s still gaining familiarity with the new rules and pieces, he’s extremely adept at positioning his pieces and he learns very quickly. Last month, at the venue’s first AvX event, R defeated me soundly in the championship match. I missed some rolls (doesn’t everyone when they lose?), but, to be frank, R outmaneuvered me at every turn that game. His tactics were simply better.

This time, he was playing AVX003E Thor, WXM040 Hope Summers, AVX008 Professor X & AVX005R Wolverine. So how’d it go?

As good a player as R is, this was an absolute nightmare matchup for him. We ended up marching on Wundagore Mountain again, and after another quick spellcasting by Shaman, R’s entire force was stuck on foot. To make matters worse, my two main attack pieces–Iron Pharaoh and Brother Voodoo–could either attack Professor X from more than 8 squares away or could use a billion different FREE actions so that the good Professor’s fantastically good Movement Special Power (I CAN’T LET YOU DO THIS: Professor X can use Mind Control and is not dealt unavoidable damage from it. Opposing characters within range must be given double power actions instead of power actions.) never went off. He killed Astral Dr. Strange and got Brother Voodoo down to his last click, but by that point the Pharaoh had run amok and Shaman had gotten into the fight (he can sling 3 damage with a range of 7 plus a Perplex he can float around to whoever needs it).

What I Learned From This Round:

–Once again, the strategy behind my build paid off. R’s team was solidly constructed; on most other maps, he would have been competitive and Professor X would have caused his opponent a LOT of problems. But the fact that a flier (Thor) was his main taxi and my team was stacked with a lot of Free Actions ultimately lead to his downfall in this match.

–Shaman can do some damage! He’s great to set up your positioning, but he’s not afraid to mix it up himself.

–Iron Pharaoh? Still good. FYI.

This win put me straight into the finals and…

Wait, you're not Cyclops!

Wait, you’re not Cyclops!

ROUND 3!! FIGHT!!

This time I played B., another local regular. He’s a very skilled player who knows about the current Meta but actively prefers to come up with his own creative twists on what he plays. Today was no different. As we sat down to play, B revealed his force:  AVX009 Cyclops, Tab-M004 Wolverine, WXM023A Deathbird and ASM022 Cloak. Can you guess which one of those four blew up my strategy?

It was Cloak! Hadn’t even considered the possibility of facing him (even though he’s got the X-Men keyword!). But his Phasing Movement PLUS Traited Stealth and Carry were a giant headache to deal with for me. He’s only 55 points, but he has 6 (SIX!!) clicks and useful powers all the way down his dial.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Our match started with me finally LOSING map roll and B. choosing to take us right to the Savage Land side of the map. This side of the map had plenty of Hindering Terrain and Water but not much Elevated Terrain, which was really what slows people down after “No Flights” goes off. The other crappy part (for me, I mean) about losing Map Roll is that my opponent got to go first after choosing which side of the map we’d play on, which meant he’d get a taxi turn out of Deathbird before I could hit the NF button.

That ended up being exactly what happened, as he used Cloak and Deathbird to ferry Cyke and Wolverine over to a four-square patch of hindering terrain to keep them safe. This wasn’t a very far advance at all, and it took them over to the other side of the map.

On my first turn, I moved out my Falcon 3 squares, perplexed up Brother Voodoo Attack value with Scarlet Witch and Shaman and sent him out to take Cyke with his Traited Free Action Mind Control (I wanted Cloak, so I could separate him from the group, but his Stealth made him untargetable). With ES/D, Cyclops had a 20 Defense, but Brother Voodoo had a 12 or 13 Attack at this point with all the modifiers plus his own Prob Control, and I ended up hitting with the MC. In turn, Cyclops blasted Cloak for four (which, at the time, I thought would either kill Cloak or at least get him out of Phasing. WRONG!). So I got the Alpha Strike, but boy, would I pay for it in the next couple turns. My last action of the turn was to bust off “No Flights,” which was able to catch everyone in Hindering. Astral Dr. Strange was also sent into the fray, although it’d take a couple turns to get to his grouping. My last action of the turn was to bust off “No Flights,” which was able to catch everyone in Hindering.

On his turn, he mostly de-chipped and/or got his forces out of Hindering (so that when he was ready to Run Shot or Charge, he wouldn’t also have to pay the Hindering Movement bonus). On turn 2, I moved the Falcon out a little more (although he had been careful with his positioning, so Pharaoh still couldn’t touch any of his figs) and tried to Incapacitate Cloak so that B. would have to push him if he wanted to Carry anyone. Even with Strange’s 8 attack I hit–and Cloak promptly hit his Super Senses roll. Tried to use free action MC again with Voodoo but missed.

My opponent retaliated the next turn by blasting Voodoo with Cyke for four. He then offed Strange’s Astral Projection with a Charge/Blades from Wolverine.

My turn. I pushed Voodoo back to Scarlet Witch for a quick heal. The push sent Voodoo to his last click. I moved Wanda into position for a heal next turn. On B.’s turn, he looked at the map 10 different ways before he had to concede that he wasn’t going to be able to base Voodoo and Witch or Outwit Witch’s Support in such a manner that the Falcon couldn’t just swoop over and Outwit his Outwit.

Back to my turn, and I make my Support roll. I need a 6, but I rolled a 3. No problem. Prob it–and I Prob myself right into a Critical Miss–the Nightmare Scenario. The Crit Miss means Voodoo takes 1 damage… and he’s done. So now my opponent has a Cloak who’s down dial quite a bit, but I’m down 2 whole figs–Voodoo and Astral Dr. Strange. My reckless opening gambit that appeared to have paid off actually didn’t, and my opponent presses his advantage on his next turn. I believe he needed a 9 or 10 to hit Scarlet Witch with Cyke–he nails the first roll, and after her defensive Prob ability, he nails a 10 on the second roll. Wanda hits him back for 1 Mystics damage, but she’s toast. Things are looking bad.

My only advantage was that Cyke was now in range of the Golden Falcon. With his “Ruler” keyword (as we’ve discussed before) and the Pharaoh’s Outwit, this is definitely not a fair fight, and within 2 turns, the Pharaoh wipes Cyclops off of the board AND pushes to his superior second click (Iron Pharaoh loses Invuln on his second click for Toughness, but his Attack goes from 10 to 11 and he gains PHARAOH’S SLAVE: Iron Pharaoh can use Mind Control, but only to target characters of fewer points that himself. When he does, after actions resolve, deal 1 unavoidable damage to the character he hit with his Mind Control.) This was huge, because with Cyclops off the board, all of my opponent’s figs were could be targeted by this ability.

The next couple turns were mostly about dechipping and positioning the Falcon (for me) and positioning and advancing with Cloak carrying Deathbird (for him). Yep! B. was using my own spell against me by having his remaining taxi carry his other taxi since I had given her the “Boot” symbol instead of her normal “Flight” icon.

Eventually he was ready (I believe it was right after I dechipped the Pharaoh) and he had Cloak carry Deathbird right up to my Elevated Terrain perch and set Cloak right between Iron Pharaoh and Shaman, my two remaining figs, and he walked Wolvie right up to the staircase, a point from which the Canucklehead could Charage next turn.

On my turn, I attacked Cloak with the Pharaoh and took him out, albeit a turn too late. As my opponent noted, “He did his job.” I’ll say! I debated attacking Deathbird with Shaman, but I decided to Barrier instead to cut off Wolverine from the fray. This was a mistake that ended up being a blessing.

My opponent’s turn. He Outwits the Barrier with Deathbird (Whoops!! Totally forgot about that!) AND marches Wolvie up to hit Shaman for 3. He dechips Deathbird and it’s my turn. Pharaoh has survived (relatively) intact.

This was the break I needed.  I hit Wolvie (who was now on Click 3 I believe) with Pharaoh’s Slave and use him to Flurry/Exploit Deathbird and do a Slave damage to Wolverine. Within 2 turns, Deathbird is dead and both my characters have evacuated the high ground. I miss a Support roll from Shaman on Iron Pharaoh, but it doesn’t matter. Wolverine is essentially immobile, I can start shooting at him from a safe distance with the Golden Falcon, and time is soon called.

This was a grueling game, and there were several moments where I think I was really outplayed. I’m proud of myself for refocusing and getting myself out of said holes, but B. designed a great team and played a great game. He actually ended up with more overall points than me for this particular tournament. But, because of my win here, I went 3-0 and won the whole thing.

What I Learned From This Round:

–Well well well, my map exploitation strategy had one glaring hole–I wasn’t always going win the Map Roll and get Map Choice! Seems like a pretty big oversight, but the Savage Land map wasn’t entirely incompatible with my strategy anyway. Still, worth noting.

–That Cloak is a monster for his points. I’m definitely going to work him into a team of my own at some point. He was useful the whole game; even when surrounded by Wolverine and Deathbird, I still had to attack him because his down dial Poison would have wrecked Shaman. Just a great piece.

–Both Shaman and Iron Pharaoh took a licking and kept on ticking. These are both 5-star pieces in my book. The versatility of this team saw me through in the end. Four of the five pieces I fielded had a way to modify either their own attack values (Iron Pharaoh and Brother Voodoo) or anyone’s values (Shaman and Scarlet Witch with their Top Dial Perplex).

–As proud of this team as I was, I think I learned as much or more about them by watching the way my opponents chose to attack them. 3 different opponents used 3 different strategies. A fun night.

The SPOILS!!

photo (14)

 

AVX101 Cable!!

 

Well, all’s well that ends well! For Ninwashui’s take on the night’s events, click here.

To see what Ninwashui wishes he would have played (and how he would attack the Pharaoh, Tellus and other Modern Age Meta figures), click here!

See you tomorrow for the Weekly Roundup!

 

Something Happening Here!! (Or, The Build 2!!!)

Let's... GET IT ON!

Let’s… GET IT ON!

The Game: AvX Month 1 (Finally!!)

The Stipulations: 400 Points, Modern Age. Must use at least one figure from an AvX starter; the rest of your army must share a keyword with that figure (I have the Avengers starter). No relics, no resources (that’ll come next month!).

The Build: Finally, AvX Month 1 is here!! About bloody time (our venue’s been awesome through this, but he had distributor issues I wouldn’t wish on anyone)!! We actually played for Month 2’s prizes under the Month 1 rules (since we got Month 2 before Month 1 and–oy, my head hurts!).

This game goes tonight, so y’all should have an update tonight or tomorrow about how things went, but for tonight, after much deliberation, I have chosen:

-AVX006e Scarlet Witch w/Secret Avengers ATA
-IIM040 Shaman
-IIM051 Iron Pharaoh
-ASM017b Brother Voodoo
-GG014a Astral Dr. Strange

Why: One big advantage I (and, I guess, everyone else at my venue who wanted to peek online, as the info’s been out awhile now) have in building this team is knowing what maps we’ll be playing on, since we’re running AvX so much later than most other shops. As soon as I saw one side of this month’s map, I fell in love! Why? Well…

Essentially, as you may have already guessed, this team is trying to take advantage of Wundagore Mountain! Hideous, dirty, nigh-broken advantage. You know that Anna Kendrick song “Cups” from “Pitch Perfect?” “I’ve got my ticket for the long way round/The one with the prettiest view.” Well, my strategy is to make my opponents sing that song all night.

Wait, what does a movie about a college a cappella group have to do with this map?

“Wait, what does a movie about a college a cappella group have to do with this map?”

Shaman is the key. Once per game, he can be given a free action to turn off flying for everyone but himself. Take another look at that map and tell me that looks fun with no fliers. Beyond that, everyone phases on this team except for Shaman, but I’m not concerned about that since he’ll be the only hero left in the sky his “No Flights” spell.

To take even more advantage of this, I’ve included Iron Pharaoh. One of his biggest drawbacks is that his “I See Everything” Golden Falcon can only move three spaces a turn, so it takes a hot minute to get into position. Well, now I have that hot minute. And while I don’t have much move and attack (Brother Voodoo has it in a roundabout way with his Mind Control SP), after, like, turn 3, I should have a major positioning advantage over my opponent. I have two top dial Probs as well as 2 Perplexes and two characters who either start with Support (Scarlet Witch) or get it mid-dial (Shaman). My attack values hold mostly steady at ten with some figs going up to eleven (before Perplex), but Pharaoh’s Fight the Future Trait should go off a decent amount given how ubiquitous I’m expecting AvX Cyclops and AvX Magneto to be (they all share the Ruler keyword).

Shaman himself does three damage and he’s a great secondary/tertiary attacker in this format. And Astral Dr. Strange is another plus 1 to Map Roll in addition to being a general nuisance, and AvX Scarlet Witch is nearly broken just on her own.

So with all this “brokenness, what are my weaknesses? Who DON’T I want to see tonight?

-Ghost Rider: He’s a strong piece already, but I don’t need someone with Move and Attack and Improved Movement: Hindering Terrain, Elevated Terrain. coming after me.

-AvX Spider-Man: For the same reason. He can Move and Attack with ease; my dirty Shaman trick doesn’t matter to him.

-Fear Itself #007 Iron Fist: Again, he can move and attack (Charge) while ignoring both Hindering and Elevated Terrain.

-Swarm team (particularly, like, S.H.I.E.L.D. with Agent Sitwell, or something); basically, while there’s a decent amount of hindering terrain and a tiny amount of elevated terrain on the Savage Land side of the map, my whole strategy is built around winning the map roll and taking my foes to Wundagore. So any swarming THEME TEAM is really what would scare me, because they’d probably get a bigger map roll bonus than me.

-Any piece that can carry and phase or carry with Improved Movement of some kind. That would be completely unacceptable!

 

Okay!  More analysis versus actual performance after tonight! Here goes nothing!!

.

Shadow of the Colossals!! (Or, The Build–02/08/2014!!)

Colossus

[Editor’s Note: We’re back! Illness and other factors meant we had to go dark for a week, but we now return you to your regularly scheduled programmingThe Build is (hopefully) gonna be a semi-regular column wherein I discuss an upcoming tourney at my local venue and explain what I’m playing and why, and then I’ll write a follow-up entry detailing the results.]

Normally, my venue only allows Modern Age figs, ATA’s and Relics, and generally between 300 and 400 points. But for the next tourney, they’re cooking up something a little special…

So let’s get to it!

The Game:

600 Points. Modern Age. Anything Goes (Resources, Relics, Colossals, ATA’s, Team Bases & Vehicles all allowed).

The Build:

I want to build a team that’s both competitive AND fun to play. Basically, that means I’m not going to go with 5 Mole Men, The Power Plant and Shuma–I’m trying to beat my opponents, not make them hate me. And that type of army–cheap, broken, stupid–is not what I want to play. I want a team that will be pretty good UNDER the current rules and not one that will be good because it EXPLOITS the current rules.

Going in, I know I have a few fixed points for this build. I already know I want to play a Colossal (because it is so rare for my venue to allow them and, well, dammit, they’re fun to play!), and I know I want to play a resource (for the same reasons).

So I already know a little bit about what I’m going to play. Let’s start with the resource.

I own four resource dials in total. The Infinity Gauntlet (for which I own 4 of the 6 gems); The Utility Belt (with only three pouches); The Penguin (for only a slight 10 point investment, he’s sneaky good); and the Book of the Skull (7 of 8 Hammers, which is all I really need–plus Splitlip, who basically takes almost all of the drawbacks away from the book and just makes it stupid broken). AvX hasn’t happened at my venue, and may not ever happen [Editor’s Note: Bleeccch. This sucks! Stupid distributors…], so the Phoenix dial is not available to me.

–The Infinity Gauntlet is great, but without all the gems, I’m going to cross it off my list (although it would be awesome to play with the team I have in mind–more on that later).

–The Utility Belt is also a non-starter, for mostly the same reason (I don’t own enough attachments), and I never liked it as much as the Gauntlet anyway. It’s still ridiculously powerful (what resource isn’t?), but the nerfing of Prep Time really puts it at the bottom of my list.

–The Penguin is a nifty resource that can be thrown in to an army at that last minute when you find out you’ve miscalculated and you need 10 more points. Unlike the other resources in the game, the Penguin probably isn’t sticking around for the whole match, but he’s a great boon for the first four to six turns. After that, he’s probably run his course and is out of the game.

–The Book of the Skull is damn near broken. I could make a very compelling argument that two of its eight Relic components (Angrir’s Hammer and Nul’s Hammer) ARE broken. And even though I don’t have Skadi’s Hammer (only available in the Blitzkrieg USA Pack), I still have the other seven Hammers and Splitlip, which means that all four slots on the dial will be active AND I can give two Hammers to three different characters should I choose to.

I don’t have the Batcave or the Power Plant. This decision is really pretty easy–I’m going to go with the Book of the Skull and Splitlip.

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points.

Splitlip–20 Points.

Okay! So far, the Build stands at 47 Points. We’re off and running! Next, let’s talk about Colossals. Cuz I really want to play one, and I don’t have a ton of choices. The three Modern Age Colossals I currently own are:

Thanos (Infinity Gauntlet); Oatu the Watcher (Galactic Guardians); Master Mold (Galactic Guardians)

And that’s about it. This decision is going to be a little harder than choosing a resource because even though I only have 3 figures to choose from, they each can be played at multiple point levels that would fit this build.

Let’s start with The Watcher; he can be played at three different point levels: 400, 200 and 50.

–The 400 point level features 16 clicks and builds slowly (oh my stars and garters, does it ever build SLOOOOOWLY) in damage output (he starts with a stinkin’ 2 and keeps it for his FIRST FOUR CLICKS!), but he’s got a really cool defensive power (POWER NEGATING FORCE-FIELD: Uatu The Watcher can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Toughness. When an opposing character misses Uatu The Watcher with an attack, counter all powers that character possesses until that character’s next turn.) that looks even better when you remember that he has a 12 (TWELVE!!) range. So your opponent is basically going to be dealing with at least a 19 defense until he gets in close. However, with the 2 damage Uatu starts with, even with starting Outwit (and there’s no guarantee in a 600 point game that your opponent’s main striker won’t also have Power Cosmic or Quintessence, which would render the Outwit useless unless you’re also running GG Adam Warlock), you’re just not going to be doing enough damage to justify his 400 point cost.Towards the end of his dial, his damage does ramp up and he starts getting things like Pen/Psy and Mind Control, but chances are the entire rest of your team could be KO’d by then. Now, if this was, like, a 1200 point game? Well yeah, then he’d be a great supporting piece. But for this game, he’s just not the best option. As much as I like Uatu, his 400 point dial is simply a nonstarter for this build.

–200 point Uatu is just the opposite. He’s practically a DPS machine, with a little bit of range support via Enhancement thrown in. He’s only got six clicks, but there’s not a bad click in the bunch. Solid 18 Defense with either Invuln or Impervious the entire dial, and he starts out doing 4 damage with Pen/Psy on an 11 Attack (or 13, if you want to give him one of the Serpent’s Hammers!). This is a strong contender for a secondary attacker; it will just depend on which figure I go with for my main piece.

–50 point Uatu changes everything up again. He will deal no damage; in fact, he’s forbidden from attacking. But he is hard to kill with starting 18 Super Senses on Defense, and he will, depending on click number, provide you with either Outwit, Probability Control, or Perplex. The downside is, every time you use one of those powers, he’s got a 66% chance to take one unavoidable damage. Still, for 50 points, you have to view him almost like a second resource. When viewed that way, his dial goes from seeming a little overcosted to almost being undercosted, since there’s no other way in the game (that I’m aware of) to assign a second resource to your force. In a game like this, your opponent is almost doing you a favor if he bothers to actually attack Uatu–every attack directed at him is an attack directed away from your actual force, and with the Defense slot I mentioned above, there’s every chance that your opponent will miss! In a “Hammer Raining From the Sky” environment (as Ninwashui puts it) such as this, there’s also one last thing to consider: The Watcher can fling Hammers! His “unavoidable damage” Trait only kicks in when he uses Prob, Perplex or Outwit. And while he can’t use the free Quake attack that Hammer landings provide, you CAN use him to get Hammers off of the Book faster and fling them at friendly characters to let THEM Quake up a storm, if you wish! 50 Point Uatu is also a strong contender to make my team!

Now let’s look at Master Mold. He can be played at two different point levels that would fit this game: 600 and 200.

–600 Point Master Mold is pretty sick. He can churn out mini-sentinels to tie up your opponent–oh hell, who am I kidding? I’m playing Thanos.

cropped-cropped-photo-1.jpg

I mean.

It’s freaking.

THANOS!! He’s the masthead of this site. Of course I’m playing Thanos. Is Master Mold more efficient? Possibly. I don’t care. Thanos wearing the Infinity Gauntlet is right up there with Warlock wearing the Infinity Gauntlet as my favorite piece ever made (as you might be guessing, Infinity Gauntlet is my favorite story of all time).

So really, I have three choices then for my main piece in this build. Thanos has a 500, 400 and 300 Point dial, and each are appealing, but for different reasons.

–500 Point Thanos has 20 clicks and 1 weakness Trait (MAKING THE GRAB FOR THE GAUNTLET: If the result of a successful close combat attack roll made by an opposing character against Thanos is a critical hit, after actions resolve that character may make another close combat attack that deals penetrating damage targeting Thanos as a free action.) that gives me pause, even though it won’t go off very often. His other Trait (SHRINKING THE HULK: After Thanos takes damage from an opposing character’s attack, either give that character a shrink token or, if there is already a shrink token assigned, move the shrink token to that character. A character with a shrink token modifies its combat values by -1.) can be awesome in a game like this depending on how many characters your opponent is fielding. The more you whittle your opponent’s force down, the closer he gets to essentially having a permanent -1 to all his combat values on his best fig. Later in the dial, he also gets an attack power that lets him place two squares of blocking terrain after he KO’s someone, and a damage power that gives him Exploit Weakness and doesn’t allow lines of fire to be drawn to him from more than 6 squares away.

His attack never goes above a 12, but his defense stays consistently high, especially early on. Opening click Prob is nice, but at 500 Points, there’s just not much space left to build an army around him. So this Thanos gonna be a pass.

–400 Point Thanos has similar stats but only 11 clicks of life. His Trait (DISSENSION IN YOUR RANKS: Opposing characters lose all keywords. Opposing characters adjacent to Thanos can’t use team abilities.) is beyond awesome, especially in a game like this, and you get Terraxia as a free addition to your force. She’s a 100 Point character with Charge and Super Strength and, as long as you’re playing her with Thanos, Perplex. Finally, on five of his 11 clicks he gets: TORTURE MY “GRANDDAUGHTER”: Thanos can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When he does, if he targets a single opposing character and hits, counter all speed and attack powers the hit character possesses until your next turn. Pen/Psy is one of the best attack powers out there; Pen/Psy that Outwits Hypersonic Speed, Running Shot, Charge, Pulse Wave, Pen/Psy, Steal Energy or whatever the hell else your enemy may have in his speed or attack slots? That’s ridiculous. Btw, here’s a picture of me imagining 400 Point Thanos with Angrir’s Hammer and Mokk’s Hammer:

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

Also on the plus side, I’d have 153 Points left over for support pieces (after the 47 I’m using for Booklip). That should be just enough to round out my army. This Thanos is the leader in the clubhouse, but let’s look at 300 Point Thanos.

–300 Point Thanos has one less click and about the same raw stats. His Trait (IMPRISON MY BROTHER: At the beginning of the first turn using this dial, you may choose an opposing character. Place that character in its own starting area and give it two action tokens.) is great when playing all five issues of the Infinity Gauntlet in a row; for this game, it’s merely very good. For most of his dial, his attack slot alternates between a souped-up Pulse Wave (if lines of fire are drawn to more than one opposing character, it does 2 damage instead of one) and Pen/Psy, which is pretty damn good. But he doesn’t mess with opposing keywords or Team Abilities, and he doesn’t give you Terraxia. His last damage power (UNNATURAL DISASTERS: Give Thanos a power action and roll a d6. Use the effect described by that roll below. 1-2 Earthquake; Deal each character that can’t use the Flight ability 1 damage. 3-4 Tidal Wave; Choose an edge of the map. Knock back each opposing character 2 squares, in a straight line away from the chosen edge of the map. 5-6 Tornado; Choose any 2 adjacent squares on the map not occupied by a character. Thanos can use Quake as a free action as if he occupied both the chosen squares.) is probably the most convoluted and unreliable power Thanos gets on any of his dials. If you could just choose which option you want, it would be “meh” at best. The fact that it’s random means that it’s possibly one of the worst uses of Thanos’s time that I can think of.

I’m leaning toward 400 Point Thanos. Is there a more efficient use of 100 Points than Terraxia? Almost certainly, but she works well with Thanos and fits thematically, even if I’m not fielding a Theme Team.

Alright! I have my Colossal! And it only took, like, 1200 words of prattling to make my decision! Yay!

So, to review:

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points

Splitlip–20 Points

Thanos–400 Points

That’s 447 Points. 153 Points left to round out my army. I have a few Primes I’m considering: Hannibal King, Brother Voodoo and Cerise. GG LE Iron Man would be perfect, except he’s 150 and would use up everything I have left. Still, his Colossal Mind Control power is awesome. Another problem–I don’t own him. The other main support piece I’m considering is Experienced AvX Scarlet Witch. Her 8 range is huge. I’m not as concerned about Team Abilities killing me with Thanos’s Trait, but she can definitely shut them down even more. The fact that she gets Prob, Support AND Perplex means she’s winner. Which leaves me with 53 Points!!

Aldrich Killian is most known for shutting down ATA’s (good lord, if nothing else, I will shut down TA’s in this tourney!), but he also has the Hydra TA and Support. And when he heals someone, their combat values are +1 for the next turn. If he heals Thanos even once, that could be game changing.

And finally, to support Killian, I’m throwing in a stupid Flock of Bats for 15 Points. Since Killian can use Stealth on his top clicks, the Bats will give him +1 on those Support rolls. Not to mention that they can be an annoying tie-up piece at some point too. [Editor’s Note: Whoops! Totally forgot that Support doesn’t allow modifiers! Thanks to several folks for pointing this out. Begone, Bats! I’m gonna replace them with a Warbot of some kind, methinks!]

So, my final choices look like this:

My Army:

The Book of the Skull–27 Points

Splitlip–20 Points

Thanos–400 Points

Scarlet Witch–100 Points

Aldrich Killian–35 Points

Flock of Bats–15 Points

Random Warbot–10 Points

Secret Avengers ATA-5 Points (for the Scarlet Witch)

That’s 597!! Alright! So, that’s my army. Later in February, I’ll post my results with this motley crew, and we’ll see if any of my theories about this environment held water. What would you change if this was your army? Post your choices below! Given the same restrictions, let me know how you would create…

THE BUILD!!